Over the years I find myself buying more and more of the older guns, guns prior to 1960. Often I buy guns that need parts or work and come into a quandry of where to find the parts. The big distributors like Numrich, Bobs Gun Parts, Popperts, Midwest Gun parts are pretty well known and pretty much picked over and you are left with scraps and what is left over for very high prices (i.e. $15 for a colt side plate screw).
Wisners is a gun parts company that makes NEW parts based on old parts, the really hard to find stuff that you need once in a life time. They compiled a list of dealers, retired gunsmiths, manufactures of original and replacement parts. I have found this list invaluable for our shop. Through this list we have been able to repair guns that were deemed un-repairable. I can make parts to order, but most folks do not want to pay the hour fees for that, especially for guns that are maybe worth $100 or so but they really want it back to shooting condition.
Wisners will also make parts. This has come in pretty handy for some of the really old Winchesters I collect.
The most common part we get requests for are various maker single shot .410 barrels for older (pre 1988) shotguns. These barrels are NON existant and have been bought up and squirrled away long ago. When you do find them, they are $125 and more and when a gun is only worth $100, that is a hard pill to swallow. It is what it is though and the supply Vs demand condition sets the price. Most modern single shot barrels cannot fit or be made to fit the older frames (ATF ruling in 1988) so people do not try to make SBS or SBR (Short barreled shotguns and short barreled rifles) out of guns with no serial numbers like were made prior to 1932. Many folks (including me) buy 2 or 3 of the same older guns just so you have parts for them when you need em to include their barrels.
The second most requested part(s) are sideplate screws for older S&W and Colt revolvers, like the M&P-38, Victory, Model 10, K, N and J frame models as well as the Colt D and P frame models. People tend to FUBAR them up using the wrong style of screw driver or they just go missing. I long ago bought a very good supply of these but sometimes they are very hard to find in the correct style for the model year. These dealers can get them.... especially Midwest Gun Parts, they are expensive, but truly have the parts you need to bring an old warhorse back to new or usable condition.
I thought I would share this list with you all.....this list is not for the EBR crowd, this is for old, obscure and obsolete guns. Some of these folks are really hard to get a hold of, so keep trying. Also, some of the links are old and no longer work, some phones have changed etc... so do diligent work to find these folks if you really need the parts they are listed for.
Here is the link.... the list is long, but it is also detailed. Have Fun and feel free to ask me if I have the parts you need as well as I tend to have a good supply of really odd parts or at least know where to get them at.
As always, I am always willing to help with a project, just ask.